The Kvanefjeld project: A potential world-class supplier of rare earths

6 mins read

The Kvanefjeld project of Energy Transition Minerals Ltd. may be able to meet Europe’s demand for unique earths for the near future.

An ASX-listed business, Energy Transition Minerals Ltd ( previously Greenland Mineral Limited ) ( ASX: ETM) is listed on exchanges. In order to meet the growing demand for essential materials essential to international de-carbonization and the quickening transition to renewable energy systems, the company plans to develop material projects.

In specific, the company’s two ongoing projects—the Villasrubias lithium project in Spain and the Kvanefjeld Rare Earth Project in southwestern Greenland—aim to satisfy this rising demand.

Rare earth project Kvanefjeld

Since 2007, the business has concentrated on developing its 100%-owned Kvanefjeld project. One of the most important and undeveloped projects in the world, Kwanefjeld has the potential to be a crucial global supplier of rare earths, particularly the group of “magnet metals” ( nitrogen, praseodymium, titanium, and dysprosium ), which are the foundations of an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly future.

More than one billion tonnes of mineral resources, including an ore reserve of 108 million tonnes, are already present in the Kvanefjeld project, making them enough to sustain a 37-year mine life. The project might run for much longer than the originally anticipated 37 years, given the size of the resource and the rate at which resources are being converted into reserves.

A shovel-ready, worldwide major project called Kvanefjeld will be able to meet Europe’s need for rare earths for the immediate future in a safe and sustainable manner.

Additionally, over the course of the 37-year mine life, the project would generate an estimated US$ 22.8 billion in tax revenue for the Greenland Government when it was in production. In terms of GDP, this income would make a sizable contribution to Greenland’s economy.

current difficulties with the Kvanefjeld project

A quick election took place in Greenland in April 2021. After taking office, the recently elected Greenland government passed legislation to halt the development of the Kvanefjeld Project. This law was passed as Greenland Parliament Act No. 1 in December 2021. 20 of December 1, 2021, to outlaw uranium exploration, prospecting, and exploitation.

In accordance with Act No. If the common uranium content of the entire resource exceeds 100 ppm, no prospecting, exploration, or exploitation of a mineral resource is permitted. Uranium is present in the Kvanefjeld deposit at a lower concentration of about 360 ppm, along with substantial mineralization of rare earth elements.

The company collaborated with all previous governments from the start of operations in Greenland in 2007 with the shared goal of advancing the project to development. At international forums like PDAC, probably the largest mining conference held yearly in Toronto, these governments endorsed the Kvanefjeld project as one of the nation’s top mining projects.

The company received many invitations from the government of the time to speak at these forums on their behalf. Both the Danish and Greenland Parliaments passed regulatory and legislative changes that gave the business and its investors more assurance that they had the right to develop the Kvanefjeld project.

The company informed the Greenland Government that it had identified rare earths, zinc, and uranium at Kvanefjeld as a economically feasible resource and had completed its exploration and feasibility work in accordance with the exploration license, meeting the requirement to be granted an exploitation license.

The Greenland Government informed the company in a letter dated April 2020 that it had met the requirements under the Minerals Resources Act to be eligible for an exploitation license for the Kvanefjeld project and outlined the remaining steps that must be taken in order to issue the license, including the completion of the community consultation process and the Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA ) and Social Impact Analysis ( SIA ).

The Danish Mineral Resources Act and a set of” standard terms” from the 1990s serve as the foundation for exploration licenses in Greenland. They were created specifically to draw international mining investors to Greenland.

The Standard Terms include a provision ( Section 1401 ) that reads ( in relevant part ) as follows in order to accomplish this investment promotion objective:

The licensee is entitled to an exploitation license if it has discovered and defined economically sustainable deposits that it intends to exploit and provided that the terms of this license have been followed.

The government officially authorized the company’s EIA and SIA for open consultation on December 18, 2020. The company then started the joint process of community consultation on the EIA and SIA with the relevant government authorities ( Greenlandic and Danish ).

The initial consultation period was set for 12 weeks. It was extended to 38 weeks before being regrettably canceled.

To address any reasonable concerns, the company has been and still is working effectively with the Greenland Government. This was demonstrated when the company submitted an amended exploitation license application in December 2022, stating that just rare earth, zinc, and fluorspar would be used for mining and that all uranium extracted during the mining process would have been separated and stored securely in the tailings facility.

The government previously denied the company’s primary application for an exploitation license in June 2023. The application of Act No. was the only factor in the rejection. 20. The government had recently rejected the company’s amended exploitation licence application in September.

conciliation with the Greenland government

After Act No. was passed, 20. The business convened on a number of occasions to talk about possible project-progress options. The company was left with no choice but to start arbitration, a right under the normal terms of the company’s exploration licence, after the government refused to even consider any acceptable compromises.

In order to confirm its rights under the exploration license, the company started arbitration with the government of Greenland in March 2022, naming the Swedish government as a next respondent. The board of arbitration was made up of three arbitrators who were based in Copenhagen. A legitimate funding arrangement between the business and Woolridge Investments LLC, a Burford Capital Limited subsidiary, is used to pay for its legal expenses. The litigation funding agreement is a non-recourse facility that can only be repaid if the case is effective.

On July 19, 2023, a Statement of Claim was submitted to the administrative tribunal. The company’s activities in Greenland over a 14-plus-year history are fully described in the Statement of Claim. Some impartial professional reports, witness statements, and roughly 1,900 pieces of evidence all back up the Statement of Claim.

The French company Secretariat, which specializes in quantifying damages, prepared an independent valuation for the independent professional reports. The Kvanefjeld project has been valued by the Secretariat at US$ 7.5 billion ( US$ 7.2 billion excluding uranium ), with an interest component bringing the provisional damages claim to US$ 11.5 billion.

The arbitration’s primary goal is to grant the right to a re-instated exploitation license. If these rights are no reinstated, it will be claimed that the business has lost the rights it has acquired, and damages for the expropriation are sought.

projects for lithium in Spain

The business declared on July 14, 2022, that it had signed a legally binding head of agreement with Technology Metals Europe SL ( ‘TME’ ) and Welsbach Holdings Pte Ltd, the company’s sole shareholder, for the right to earn an interest in TME, worth 51 %. The Villasrubias project, an exploration permit for lithium in Spain, is owned solely by MMESL.

Research permit No. authorizes the Villasrubias project. 6914, given to SIEMCALSA in 2019, enables the exploration of lithium, tin, tantalum, and niobium over a 11.4 km2 area. Both the Iberian Peninsula and Villasrubias have a history of lithium and tin mining, and the latter dates back to the 1940s.

By investing AU$ 3 million in a simultaneously agreed-upon work program pertaining to the Tenement within three years, the company can acquire its interest in TMESL. The three-year period began on October 28, 2022, when the business received shareholder consent for the deal.

In order to determine the extension of granitic bodies, Villasrubias began conducting exploration in December 2022. This included conducting a drone aeromagnetic and electric survey, an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic tomography survey. As soon as the exploration’s findings are made public, they will be shared.

In March 2023, a first drill program with 1, 133m across 12 holes was launched. The outcomes of this maiden were made public in July. The following were noted in terms of important findings:

At least one pegmatite/aplite body with a thickness of 0.28 to 2.90 meters was intersected by nine holes.
The connected granitic bodies were mineralized with different grades of tantalum, lithium, and tin.
Lepidolite is the form of lithium, tin and tungsten are thought to be housed in scheelite and cassiterite, both.
A fascinating discovery for Villasrubias was made when high tungsten grades were found in a number of drill holes. The second half of 2023 is set aside for a follow-up next drill program.

more applications for exploration licenses

In Spain, Energy Transition Minerals Ltd established a wholly owned subsidiary under the name “ETM Spain.” The company’s expansion into the inland lithium and energy transition minerals sector in Europe will be spearheaded by ETM Spain, which will take over as the legal owner of its Hispanic projects and assets.

Additionally, Energy Transition Minerals has requested four new lithium-tin-tungsten exploration licenses (‘permito de investigació n’) in the Western Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Cáceres,’ Aldeadávila’,’Hinojosa, “‘El Payo, and ‘Salvaleón’ through Technology Metals Europe ( its partner in Spain ). The permits will be held by ETM Spain, which will grant priority and exclusivity over 177.3 km2 for a period of three years.

The largest lithium exploration license area in Europe will be held by Energy Transition Minerals once it is granted. As soon as the licenses are formally granted, the company is getting ready to start its original exploration programs.

The business is still dedicated to finishing the Kvanefjeld project and is eager to collaborate with the Greenland government on workable growth strategies. In order to address any issues and develop the Kvanefjeld project in a way that minimizes ecological impacts and benefits Greenland for decades to come, the company will continue to work with local communities in that region.

The Villasrubias lithium project’s exploration and evaluation work will continue, and exportation work on the new license areas will be added to it.

In order to expand its asset portfolio and generate shareholder value, the company has been constantly looking into opportunities to purchase new technology metals projects.

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a distinguished Smart City Consultant, renowned for his expertise in IoT (Internet of Things) and cutting-edge urban technology solutions. With a deep understanding of Smart City initiatives, Matthew excels in leveraging IoT innovations to transform urban landscapes into efficient, sustainable, and connected environments. His strategic insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, data analytics, and IoT implementation make him a trusted expert in the field. Matthew Boyle is your go-to consultant for navigating the complex world of Smart Cities, ensuring seamless integration of IoT technologies, and unlocking the potential of data-driven urban solutions. With his guidance, your city can thrive in the digital age, enhancing quality of life and fostering a sustainable future.

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